To many of us, Google and Bing are magical. Not in the wizards and unicorn sense. But we have no idea how they work. We often think of “Googleing” or using a search engine as searching the web. That is not accurate. There is more content on the web than Google, Bing, Dogpile, or any other search engine knows. The truth is, and it makes sense when you stop and think about it, that when you search with Google or Bing, you search the index that a search engine has of the web. There are a lot of people and companies out there who will tell you different stories about how to rank in Google. For that reason, I’ve researched and referenced resources directly from Google.
So, if you’re really serious about ranking your website better in organic search results, there are some things you absolutely need to know and do.
1. Don’t expect to get on to page one quickly.
Here’s a quick test for you. Do a search on some keywords for which you want to rank. Notice how many results there are? That’s how many pages (not just sites) Google has indexed and found relevant to your search. You are trying to rank 1 (ONE) page or site against all those other pages and sites.
2. The only way to pay to be on page one (quickly) is through ads.
The (really) short version of Google AdWords and Bing Ads is you select a keyword (or group of keywords). Then, you state how much you would pay to have someone click on your link after they search for the keyword you just selected. This is also known as Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). If this is something that interests you, you can go straight to Google or Bing and set up a campaign. Or, you can use an SEO or marketing company (such as 212 Media Studios) to help you set up and manage your campaign.
3. Submit your site to Google and other search engines.
Yes, Google will eventually find your site if you’re generating quality content and have great back links. The video below explains this in more detail. There are various tools to help you do this, which we’ll get into more another time.
4. Google looks at page titles.
In modern browsers, it’s that little bit of text that you can see at the top of the tab. It should also be noted that it’s the text that gets added as a user’s default bookmark text. These titles should contain (in order of importance): the main title of the page, a couple keywords that are highly relevant to the page’s content, and your brand name.
5. Google also uses meta information (meta description and meta keywords).
This is information that is only visible to search engines and browsers. You can view it, but it takes a bit of work. On any webpage, right click on the page and select “View Source.” This will display a lot of code – you’re looking for:
<meta name="description" content="This would be where you describe your page. This information will display in search results." />
<meta name="keywords" content="keywords about your content, comma separated" />
In the video below, Matt Cutts (Engineer in Google’s Quality Group) explains what you can do to help Google figure out that your page(s) are relevant for certain keywords and phrases.
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